Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Bible Reading Plans’

Bible Reading for 2012: 90 Day Modified Horner Bible Reading

December 16, 2011 6 comments

Following is a re-post from December of last year, when I mentioned my 90-Day Modified Horner Reading Plan.   Click here for the PDF for the full 90-day reading.  It was a good reading plan, 14 chapters a day and gradually reducing near the end of the 90 days, to complete and end the reading on March 31.  Since then I’ve been back to an 8-list genre reading plan which completes the Bible every 125 days.

*********************************
Update:  New Facebook discussion group for the Horner Bible Reading plan and modifications including this 90-day reading plan.

At the beginning of 2010 I described a 2010 Bible Reading Challenge with several variations on the Horner Bible Reading System, a genre-based reading through each of several different sections of the Bible.  With such plans you read one or two chapters from each list, for a total of 10 to 14 chapters per day, and read completely through the Bible several times per year.

For most of this year I’ve been doing an eight list plan that includes 12 to 14 chapters per day; the longest list is 125 days.  However, beginning January 1, just for the first three months, I’ll be following a 9-list 90 days plan.

List 1:  Gospels  (89 days) — one chapter per day
List 2:  Pentateuch (90 days) — two chapters per day
List 3:  New Testament (Acts through Revelation) — two chapters per day
List 4:  Job, Proverbs, Ruth, Ecclesiastes — one chapter per day
List 5:  Psalms, Song of Solomon — two chapters per day
List 6:  History Joshua thru 2 Kings (except Ruth), and Esther — two chapters per day
List 7:  History 1-2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah — one chapter per day
List 8:  Major Prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel — two chapters per day
List 9:  Other Prophets–Lamentations, Daniel thru Malachi — one chapter per day

Since this is not an A-to-Z type plan that breaks the reading in the middle of chapters, the lists do not all end on the last day.  Actually, all the lists except List 1 end before March 31, and so the reading gradually tapers off toward the end.  List 9 ends on March 25, and the others end gradually after that.  I made additional adjustments for some especially long chapters, so that where I would normally read two chapters I only read one for those days.  A few examples of these include Psalm 119 split into two days, as well as 1 Kings 7 and 8, Jeremiah 49 through 52, and Ezekiel 39 and 40

You may notice that I put Ruth in List 4 after Proverbs.  I made this adjustment after learning that, at least at one time, the Jewish scriptures placed Ruth after Proverbs — flowing from the Proverbs 31 woman to the godly woman Ruth.

*** Added on 1/3/2011:   A good variation on the reading sequence — instead of reading the lists in the order above, read as follows:

List 2 (Pentateuch)
Lists 6-7 (History)
Lists 8-9 (Prophets)
Lists 4 and 5 (wisdom books)
List 1 (Gospels)
List 3 (New Testament)

Click here to see the actual day-by-day list, in PDF format for printing.

PDF of the 125-day 8 list plan.  (Note: with the eight list plan, after you complete a list you return to the beginning of that list.)

90 Day Bible Reading Plan, Genre-Style: Final Observations

April 1, 2011 Leave a comment

Update:  New Facebook discussion group for the Horner Bible Reading plan and variations on it.

I have now completed reading the Bible in 90 days, Prof. Horner genre style.  Here are just a few insights from recent reading.

To finish the Pentateuch in 90 days (instead of 93 days, two chapters at a time) I scheduled the last several days to read three chapters at a time.  For the most part three chapters of Deuteronomy is okay, but chapter 28 is quite lengthy.  To compensate for the extra reading in Deuteronomy 28 that day, I only read one chapter of Revelation — chapter 21 — and finished Revelation the next day (March 30).

Yet that slight change provided even greater reading parallels for the next day:  reading about the river of life in both Ezekiel 47 and Revelation 22.  Also, John 21:20 and 23 mention Jesus’ return (in Jesus’ words to Peter, if I want him to remain alive until I come…) and then Revelation 22:7 proclaims “Behold, I am coming soon.”  It’s also a way in which we see that John, who did outlive the other apostles, did remain until Jesus’ Revelation concerning His coming again.

Other great reading combinations included Deuteronomy 25:13-25 with Ezekiel 45:10-12, showing God’s continual concern for fairness and justice, even with the practical matters of daily life such as standard weights and measurements.

Next, I’m starting my 8-list modification, from the beginning — a new starting point.  Before, I gradually merged from the original 10-list plan into the current plan.  As always, I’m sure the new readings will be just as good, with more different but good reading parallels and combinations.

Reading through The Bible in 90 Days (a Genre Plan): Reading Update

January 17, 2011 Leave a comment

As with the standard Horner Bible Reading System, reading through the scriptures following this 14-chapter per day plan (described here) yields some interesting parallels.  The Horner Bible Reading plan so lends itself to modifications, because any combination will show some parallels, though different ones in each case.

So far, this 90 day plan, starting with Genesis and going forward, follows the biblical time sequence:  Genesis, then Joshua-Judges, then 1 Chronicles (time of King David), then Isaiah (King Hezekiah), then Daniel (Babylonian exile).  Job and the Psalms provide a break for other Old Testament readings, followed by the New Testament sequence: gospels, then Acts.  The readings won’t always follow the chronological sequence — in some cases the second reading from the prophets will be earlier in the time sequence, and Jeremiah and Ezekiel reflect a later time period — but it’s great so far.

Anyway, here are some good reading parallels I’ve noted from the readings so far:

  • Genesis 12:8 mentions Ai and Bethel.  Joshua 12:9 also mentions these places, on day 12.
  • Genesis 11 and Daniel 1 both reference “the land of Shinar,” Babylon — where pagan religion started and continued through Daniel’s day
  • Psalm 16, and Acts 13:35 (quotes from Psalm 16), on day 8
  • Matthew 10, in which Jesus speaks of Sodom and Gomorrah, along with Genesis 19, on day 10
  • Daniel 6 — Daniel in the lions’ den — and Psalm 22:21 (save me from the mouth of the lion!), on days 11 and 12
  • Daniel 3:18 — contrasted with Job 8:3-6, on day 8.  The Hebrew children recognized that God might not deliver them, whereas Job’s friends understood a God that only brought harm on the wicked
  • Genesis 26:4 (the promise confirmed to Isaac, Abraham’s son) and the reminder of that promise to the unfaithful Israelites in Judges 2:1 on day 13
  • Judges 1:21 (Jerusalem and the Jebusites) on day 13, after 1 Chronicles 11:4-6 (David’s men conquering the same) on day 11
  • Isaiah 26:15 (day 13)  provides a wonderful contrast, that glorious future day, as compared to the days of unfaithful Israel in Judges.
  • Job 13, especially verses 15 and 25,  is answered with the better New Testament day, Matthew 13:17 (day 13) and Matthew 12:20 (from day 12)
  • Genesis 34 — land of Shechem, and Hamor and his son Shechem; then Judges 9, set in Shechem.  Note especially verse 28, which mentions “Hamor the father of Shechem.” — Day 17

Anyone else have some interesting reading parallels to share, from this 90 day plan?  Or from the original Horner or other modified versions?

The 90 Day Modified Horner Bible Reading Plan: Day 6

January 6, 2011 2 comments

I’ve begun the 90-day reading plan mentioned here for the beginning of the year 2011.  Along with a new year, the first readings include many “beginnings:” Genesis creation; the beginning genealogies in 1 Chronicles 1; the Israelites coming into the Promised Land (Joshua); the gospels (Matthew), and the church (Acts).

Since I was already reading 12 to 14 chapters per day, the amount of reading so far is the same, though the focus is slightly different:  more history and prophets, less of the New Testament (3 chapters instead of 4).  I’ve made one change so far: to the reading sequence.  The sequence I originally suggested followed the pattern of the original Horner Bible Reading plan, and the 8-list plan as well:  start with the gospels, then the law, then back to the epistles, followed by OT readings:  wisdom (Job-Proverbs, Psalms), then history and prophecy, and finally back to the New Testament with Acts.  However, the 90-day plan doesn’t have the extra list at the end for Acts or other New Testament books.

Instead, I’ve found the following sequence works better:  Genesis, history, prophets, then wisdom books, then the gospels, and finally the NT readings.  Reading in this order highlights the Bible’s characteristic of progressive revelation:  start with the very basic information given in the Pentateuch, then progress through Israel’s history, prophets and wisdom, to the final word in the gospels and New Testament letters.  As Hebrews 1:1-2 says, God spoke previously “by the prophets” but now has spoken to us by His Son.

A few more observations from recent readings:  The first day’s reading includes two mentions of Rahab — in the genealogy of Jesus in Matthew 1, and her actual story in Joshua 2.  Psalm 2:8-9 and Isaiah 2:4 also go together.  In reading through both Isaiah and Lamentations I notice the use of the phrase “daughter(s) of” — including “daughter of Zion.”  From day 2, Acts 4:25-26 is a quote from Psalm 2, read the day before.

A Bible Reading Plan for 2011: Modified Horner Bible Reading for 90 Days

December 10, 2010 6 comments

Update:  New Facebook discussion group for the Horner Bible Reading plan and modifications including this 90-day reading plan.

At the beginning of 2010 I described a 2010 Bible Reading Challenge with several variations on the Horner Bible Reading System, a genre-based reading through each of several different sections of the Bible.  With such plans you read one or two chapters from each list, for a total of 10 to 14 chapters per day, and read completely through the Bible several times per year.

For most of this year I’ve been doing an eight list plan that includes 12 to 14 chapters per day; the longest list is 125 days.  However, beginning January 1, just for the first three months, I’ll be following a 9-list 90 days plan.

List 1:  Gospels  (89 days) — one chapter per day
List 2:  Pentateuch (90 days) — two chapters per day
List 3:  New Testament (Acts through Revelation) — two chapters per day
List 4:  Job, Proverbs, Ruth, Ecclesiastes — one chapter per day
List 5:  Psalms, Song of Solomon — two chapters per day
List 6:  History Joshua thru 2 Kings (except Ruth), and Esther — two chapters per day
List 7:  History 1-2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah — one chapter per day
List 8:  Major Prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel — two chapters per day
List 9:  Other Prophets–Lamentations, Daniel thru Malachi — one chapter per day

Since this is not an A-to-Z type plan that breaks the reading in the middle of chapters, the lists do not all end on the last day.  Actually, all the lists except List 1 end before March 31, and so the reading gradually tapers off toward the end.  List 9 ends on March 25, and the others end gradually after that.  I made additional adjustments for some especially long chapters, so that where I would normally read two chapters I only read one for those days.  A few examples of these include Psalm 119 split into two days, as well as 1 Kings 7 and 8, Jeremiah 49 through 52, and Ezekiel 39 and 40

You may notice that I put Ruth in List 4 after Proverbs.  I made this adjustment after learning that, at least at one time, the Jewish scriptures placed Ruth after Proverbs — flowing from the Proverbs 31 woman to the godly woman Ruth.

*** Added on 1/3/2011:   A good variation on the reading sequence — instead of reading the lists in the order above, read as follows:

  • List 2 (Pentateuch)
  • Lists 6-7 (History)
  • Lists 8-9 (Prophets)
  • Lists 4 and 5 (wisdom books)
  • List 1 (Gospels)
  • List 3 (New Testament)

Click here to see the actual day-by-day list, in PDF format for printing.

Topics From Today’s Bible Readings

April 28, 2010 Leave a comment

Today’s Bible readings in my Bible Reading Plan include two themes: eschatology (Luke 21, Zechariah 10, and Revelation 20), and the Christian traits of humility versus pride (1 Corinthians 3-4, and Job 23).

In the second category, 1 Corinthians 4 includes Paul’s sarcasm as he tells the Corinthians that already they are rich and are kings — and then reminds them of the great sufferings and trials of the apostles. “What do you have that you did not receive?” Really good reading, that which we all need to be reminded of. The next reading, Job 23, is a good follow-up for contrast, as in verses 4-6 where Job says: “I would lay my case before him and fill my mouth with arguments. I would know what he would answer me and understand what he would say to me. Would he contend with me in the greatness of his power? No; he would pay attention to me.” Of course we all know the end of the story, and Job will get to the right place by chapter 40.

As regarding eschatology, today’s readings again show the abundance of biblical texts concerning Christ’s Second Coming. I’ve heard it said that about 1/4 of the Bible deals with prophetic events, and that Bible prophecy refers more often to Christ’s Second Coming than to His first — and based on all my readings this last year I would agree. Often my reading combinations include one or two prophetic sections. After all, I’m reading Revelation for 22 out of every 50 days (although not every chapter in Revelation is prophetic) and reading something from the Major or Minor prophets every day — though again not every text there deals with future events; sometimes the reading combinations mean that I’m reading through five chapters of OT history instead, such as days when I’m reading narrative events in lists 2 (Pentateuch), list 6 (History) and list 7 (Prophets — historical narrative sections in Isaiah and Jeremiah for instance). But then I have reading days like today, with eschatology featured in three different places — the gospel accounts, Zechariah, and Revelation.

One additional observation from Luke 21: verse 25 mentions the sea, that people are perplexed because of the roaring of the sea and the waves. This reminds me of my recent study through Acts 27 in S. Lewis Johnson’s series. The sea was not something pleasant in the 1st century, and voyage by sea was often dangerous or even impossible. Johnson noted also the reference to Revelation 21, that in the New Heavens and New Earth there would be no more sea — a description not so meaningful to us today, but something designed to bring comfort to readers of that day.

Current Bible Reading: Horner Bible Reading Update

April 20, 2010 Leave a comment

In my daily Bible Reading, sometimes I get into a set that includes a few not-so-interesting readings, though as always the variety helps keep the flow moving.  At the moment I have the early chapters of Numbers (list 2) and the later chapters of 1 Chronicles (list 6), both of which show similar interest in genealogies and lists of names and tribal divisions.  Today, for instance, I read of the arrangement of different tribes and the order of how each division of the camp moved in their sequences (Numbers 10); 1 Chronicles 26 has a similar interest in its descriptions of the different groups along each of the gates north, south, east and west.  Both of these books are not the typical Bible material that people like to refer to and memorize, and rarely (if ever) would one hear a sermon preached on this material.  I have heard one pastor (the local one) teach through Numbers — but my preferred Bible teachers, S. Lewis Johnson and John MacArthur, have not taught through these particular texts.  Yet these texts are in the Bible, and this is the advantage of reading through the Bible in sequence — same as with expository preaching: that such a method forces one to read parts of the Bible that we would never come across in a topical reading approach.  I am reminded of an observation that S. Lewis Johnson made, in reference to Genesis 36 (a chapter of genealogies), that such chapters show that God is interested in the affairs of humans and their ordinary lives.

In other readings I continue to come across some good cross-references.  The first chapters of Romans have many OT quotations, and a few of these actually showed up in my other lists at the same time:

Yesterday:  Romans 1 quotation of Habakkuk 2 — the righteous will live by his faith.
Today:  list 7 included Habakkuk 2

Today:  Romans 3 quotes Psalms 5:9, “Their throat is an open grave; with their tongue they speak deceit.”
List 5 (Psalms) today included Psalm 5.

Acts 3, The Prophets, and the Church Age

March 16, 2010 Leave a comment

In my last post I considered dispensationalism and ecclesiology, noting that the descriptions of the future kingdom, in the OT prophecies, do not agree with the assessment of the New Testament church age as described by the apostles.

Now that I’ve been following the (modified) Horner Bible reading plan for a year, I can definitely see a benefit:  really becoming familiar with what God’s word actually says.  After all, one year of this reading plan results in the following:  almost three readings through the Prophets, six readings through the New Testament Epistles, and over seven readings through the book of Acts.  From the Prophets I now notice several major themes, including the pattern of Israel’s apostasy, followed by God’s judgement, and then the wonderful hope of future restoration of Israel: into a right relationship with God, and the associated blessings of that — dwelling in the land in peace, safety and abundance.

In my current reading through Acts, Peter’s message in Acts 3 especially sticks out.  Notice verse 21 especially:

(Jesus) whom heaven must receive until the time for restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets long ago.  (ESV)

My last post mentioned the overall differences between the Old Testament prophecies and the present church age.  This passage in Acts 3 is far more direct and to the point.  Jesus must remain in heaven (referring to this age) “until the time” (future) “for restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets long ago.”

Now, what did the prophets speak about, and what is meant by the restoration (the “restoring”)?  Acts 1:6-7, just two chapters earlier, answers the second part of this question.  After 40 days spent with Jesus post-resurrection, the apostles asked Him, “are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”  As has often been pointed out, if the amillennialists are right and this age is the kingdom, this would have been the perfect opportunity for Jesus to correct their understanding.  Instead, He simply told them that it was not for them to know “the times or dates” of when it would come.  Acts 3:21 clearly refers to the same thing, a future restoration that will come after the present time (while Jesus remains in heaven) — in other words, at our Lord’s Second Coming.

Back to the first question:  what did the prophets speak about?  Again, multiple readings through that section of the Bible (Isaiah through Malachi) show the very oft-repeated theme of apostasy-judgment-future restoration and blessing, and all of these relate to national Israel, with language concerning “the house of Judah and the house of Israel.”  The theme is so prevalent throughout these books, that it boggles my mind that anyone could conceive of the idea that the first two parts — apostasy and judgment — involve Israel, but the third part — future restoration and blessing — is something completely disjointed from the previous two and said to apply to the Church instead.  A strong, solid knowledge of the Old Testament prophets, and the book of Acts (plus the many descriptions of the current Church age as a good contrast) makes the truth plain.

Biblical ignorance — and sinful Gentile pride, the very thing the apostle Paul warned against in Romans 11– is behind that which now boggles my mind.  Such ignorance and pride itself are an indication of the underlying problems with the Church age, as yet more proof that the Church age is NOT the kingdom of God, is NOT the fulfillment of all that the prophets spoke of long ago.

In years past when my own Bible study was more lacking (casual reading through the Bible once a year, and listening only to what was taught at my own church), I likewise did not think about these issues so much — and at a superficial glance, it does sound good when a pastor skims over a few verses out of Isaiah or Jeremiah and says “this is talking about our age now.”  We know the great things that Christ did for us in His atoning work on the cross, and eternal life in heaven, and so, naturally, it sounds great to hear that the Church is the wonderful outworking of God’s plan.  We’re all Christians, and the gospel is going out victoriously into this age and changing lives, and so it seems natural that God is doing all this for us Gentiles in the Church Age.

With such general ideas, I once supposed that previous generations of the Church age were much better than now:  that people were really more godly, moral and church-going back in the middle 20th century, or the early 20th century, or other times before that, such as on the 19th century frontier, Victorian England, colonial America, etc.  Perhaps other times were more outwardly civilized, with the restraints of law and societal pressure, but the more I learn and read of history the more it truly agrees with what the Bible says about this current Church Age.  I have read many sermons from C.H. Spurgeon, delivered in the 1850s (150+ years ago), that one would surely think were talking about the early 21st century.  Then as now, most people did not really read their Bibles, did not take the time and effort and were more interested in magazines and popular literature.  Then as now, people were lazy with excuses regarding church attendance and with really living a good Christian life.  Then as now, only a few Christians spoke out against and contended against the constant barrage of errors and evils coming against the church.  Then it was Spurgeon; now it is leaders such as John MacArthur, and others at various points throughout church history.

Horner Bible Reading Update

March 10, 2010 Leave a comment

I’ve now consolidated my reading lists to 8, with one slight addition:  for the shorter Gospel chapters, I now double up and read two at a time.  The Gospels do not have as many shorter chapters (35 or fewer verses) as other sections of the Bible, but I found enough to shorten List 1 to 71 days, from 89 days.  No need to push it beyond that point, but 71 days does make it closer in length to the other New Testament lists.

Eight lists are certainly more manageable than 12, in terms of keeping up with the different passages and stories.  The readings sometimes include some great parallels or cross-references.  For instance, the other day I read Matthew 4, in which the devil tempts Jesus by quoting scripture, including a passage out of Psalm 91; list 5 that day included that very Psalm and those same verses — cool.  The readings through Matthew 5-7, the sermon on the mount, complement my list 2 readings in Exodus and the giving of the law.  Ezekiel 22 also fits with its references to the laws given in Exodus.

Here is my reading for tomorrow:

  • Matthew 8-9
  • Exodus 23-24
  • Galatians 1-2
  • Proverbs 7
  • Psalms 97-98
  • 2 Samuel 19-20
  • Ezekiel 23-24
  • Acts 1

Reflecting on the Horner Bible Reading Plan: Bible Reading as a Way of Life

February 11, 2010 Leave a comment

It’s been almost a year since I began using the Horner Bible Reading Plan, a ten-list genre plan.

Officially I am on day 330, though at this point that number is meaningless. My list of readings now barely resembles what the actual “day 330” would be. As others have also noted, though, the plan is very adaptable and flexible. Most importantly, the Horner Bible Reading Plan helped me get “out of the box” of standard once-a-year Bible reading plans, to read the Bible much more frequently and to read it more naturally, like any other favorite book. Just as I tend to read several different books at the same time, going back and forth between them, so here I follow along with several different stories and doctrinal books, keeping up with each one while often finding parallels and similar themes.

For the first several months I kept close to Horner’s original plan (only exception: I split the history and prophets into two shorter lists, for 12 chapters a day) and read through Proverbs, Acts, and the Job-Ecclesiastes-Song of Solomon lists several times. Then, like others who have continued with this system, I began modifications to read through certain books more frequently for special emphasis: for instance, adding Revelation to the “Acts” list. After twice completing the 150-day Psalms list, I rearranged the wisdom lists to read the Psalms more frequently (two Psalms per day). After completing the Pentateuch list in 187 days, I shortened it for the next time by reading 2 chapters at a time.

Grant Horner emphasizes using the same Bible, as a way to really get familiar with “your” Bible, to know where everything is on each page. Perhaps after several years of this system I will reach that point, but in this last year I explored many different reading techniques. I began with the NIV translation, the only version I then owned in print-versions, using a hardcover “NIV Topical Study Bible” with its somewhat larger print (as compared to my other Bible, the NIV Study Bible). Along the way I found the topical notes, interspersed throughout the pages, a distraction. Last summer I looked into Bible software programs, e-Sword and “The Word,” and for several months read the ESV, but on a computer screen and using software bookmarks. But on weekends, with limited access to the home PC, often I would switch back to NIV (the NIV Study Bible. Switching back and forth between the Bible software on two different PCs (one at work, one at home), and then switching to the NIV print Bible on weekends, meant more time keeping up with bookmarks. More recently, I purchased an ESV Large Print Bible, and now use it regularly; it is much simpler, one book and one set of bookmarks.

Horner also emphasizes “just reading” without any pauses for further study. I generally do so, yet often I read the footnotes. When I read on the computer program, the numerous small reference symbols (which show other scripture references when you mouse-over them) tended to distract. Though this is strictly a “reading” plan, the readings have prompted further study, and now the S. Lewis Johnson book study series provide a nice extension to several of my readings — such as the series I’m currently listening to, the book of Acts. Now as I re-read Genesis again (starting the third time through the Pentateuch) I remember many of his observations from that series, which I completed recently.

The continual reading and cycling back through each list brings more familiarity, and often I am only a few days or less than a month away from a particular passage. Earlier this month, for instance, I read Hebrews 10, which includes a quote from Psalm 40; less than a week later I read Psalm 40, and recognized the verses from the Hebrews passage. A guest speaker at church last night referenced 1 Peter 2 — which I had only read the day before.

God’s word is such a treasure, and I enjoy my reading time each day, in which I remember great treasures and find words of comfort as well as exhortation. Reading the Bible in this manner is just a part of everyday life, as I continue each selection from the previous day —
not a “task” to complete a certain reading for each day in the year. I could never return to the limited diet of such task-structured plans.